Six years ago, the world’s first fuel cell electric bike, the AlterBike, appeared.
Unlike traditional battery-powered electric bicycles that can only support a limited number of miles, Alter's mileage is limited by only two points: first, the hydrogen fuel cell you carry; second, the amount of hydrogen fuel purchased on the road. Its designers envisioned the rider to calculate the distance to ride and carry a sufficient amount of fuel tanks based on these distances. Now, France's PragmaIndustries has announced that its electric bike's cruising range has increased by 50%.
AlterBike is the result of a collaboration between three French companies, Pragma (fuel cell manufacturer), Cycleurope (bicycle design company), and Ventec (battery management system design company). The bike has a lithium-ion battery and a fuel cell that is fueled by a hydrogen cylinder. For the moment, there are relatively few hydrogen recharge stations and they are far apart. In the beginning, AlterBike used a 200-bar cylinder, which is said to provide a cruising range of about 100 kilometers. Now, Pragma has replaced a 300bar carbon composite cylinder to increase the cruising range to 150 kilometers. In comparison, the average cruising range of a conventional electric bicycle is only about 50 kilometers.
PragmaCEOPierreForte said: "Alpha fuel cell bicycles have a clear advantage over electric bicycles in terms of cruising range and fuel replenishment. Generally, batteries take several hours to fully charge, but hydrogen cylinders can be filled in less than two minutes. This is invaluable for fleet applications."
It is reported that this new and improved AlphaBike will be unveiled at the G7 World Summit in Biarritz, France later this month. There will be 200 AlphaBike teams providing transportation for reporters covering the event.